Monday 28 January 2019


To the justified and reasoned protests of lawmakers from both political parties, Trump directed the Department of the Treasury to quietly lift sanctions on three Russian firms, originally imposed punish the country for its 2014 annexation of the Crimea and meddling in the US 2016 presidential election and the proxy war in Syria,
citing concern for the global aluminium industry that China has come to monopolies due to broader trade wars as well as the bar to entry for Russia. The business magnate behind the firms is a close ally of Vladimir Putin as well as known business associate of former Trump campaign manager, Paul Manafort. Members of congress strongly objected to relaxing these prohibitions, especially in light of the ongoing investigations into the administration’s ties to the oligarchy. As with Trump, the chief executive officer of the companies has divested himself of business interests, making the companies ostensibly independent of his influence, and the personal sanctions levied against him, including frozen US assets and travel restrictions, remain in place.